NaNoWriMo 2016: Launchpad

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-180Every November for the past 8 years, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It’s the beginning of November 2016, and today I’ll embark on the first day of my ninth NaNoWriMo project.

NaNo is a 30-day challenge to write 50,000 words, which for a lot of participants is quite a feat, but its real purpose is to bring together writers of every age and type.

Although I’ve participated in NaNo for the past 8 years, I’ve only “won” once — which is to say I’ve only hit word count once out of 8 years.

For me, NaNoWriMo has never been about winning, which really just means completing 50,000 words. It’s always been about participating in the larger writing community, going to write-ins, and learning from the writers I know online and in my region.

This year, my NaNoWriMo experience is going to be really different from previous years. My goal will be completing a rough second draft of a novel I’m working on with my writing partner, Emily, that we’ve been working on together since 2014. Since we’re splitting the workload, we’re each only writing for a goal of 25,000 words — which is great, because we both work full-time and have other responsibilities.

Check out what’s in store below.


nsef-1-red-coverOn transferring to an all-girls academy, Dani hopes to make a fresh start — except she’s not doing such a great job. Jaded by her recent military school expulsion, she gets into an altercation with the student council president, Lily, whose disdain leaks from her eyeballs.

After a chance encounter with Cara, the most popular girl at St. Talia’s, the girls enter a time freeze, only to be attacked by a grotesque and mysterious monster. To their surprise, they’re saved by what can only be described as a “magical girl” who looks like she came straight out of an anime: bright violet hair, a fluffy skirt, and a pair of shiny magical swords. What’s more, she looks suspiciously like Dani’s disdain-leaking seat neighbor.

Soon, Dani and Cara are recruited by a mysterious organization, the Night Corps, which fights the grotesque monsters and their commanders, a group known as the Night Coven. After gaining a new power to help fight the monsters, Dani and Cara join with a veteran to form a three-person team – coming face to face with a terrifyingly angry Lily. She prevents the two from engaging in combat until, caught unaware, Dani and Cara are caught in the crossfire of a Night Coven attack.

Game Plan

This year, I have a more settled plan for NaNo than usual, mainly because of the time I need to coordinate with my writing partner. I’ll be doing short blog updates a few days this month:

  • November 7
  • November 15
  • November 21
  • The End!

I’m headed to Rathalla Review‘s annual Write-A-Thon on November 5. Full disclosure: the Write-A-Thon is held in the library of Rosemont College, where I completed grad school, and I was previously Rathalla’s production manager. I expect this to cause a huge addition to our word count for the November 7 update!

Once again, I’ll have guest posts about NaNo on my blog. You’ll also find me on other blogs talking about NaNo, so keep an eye out!

There’s a calendar tracker in my sidebar for you to see what days we’ve written and whether we’re still on track. I will NOT be updating my normal NaNo account this year! If you want to keep up with us on the NaNo site, you can find us here.


Published by Feliza

Feliza Casano is a writer and editor with a love of speculative fiction, graphic novels, and good books. She writes and edits at Girls in Capes ( and contributes to other websites on science fiction and fantasy topics.


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